Guitar practice can be a little punishing for the body at times.
A little comfort while you practice is a good idea.
And, even if you prefer to practice while standing, you will want to park it all down on a comfortable chair or stool and give your legs and back some rest after a while.
It sure would be nice to stop practicing when your scheduled time is up, rather than because your back can’t bear the pain anymore.
But with so many guitar practice chairs and stools on the market, how do you know which one is best for you?
We are tackling that question today.
But first, a little insight into why this little investment is perhaps more important than you may have thought.
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Why You Need The Right Guitar Practice Chair
The wrong guitar practice chair will mess with your posture, cause lower back and neck pain, and compromise your technique.
You will know you are not using the right chair if your neck is stiff as a board, and your back is as humped as a camel’s after every practice.
Yes, as any prolonged physical exertion will do to the human body, your body will ache a bit after a gruelling practice.
But this should be easily redressed with a good night’s sleep.
If, however, every muscle in your body still hurts and practice feels like the last thing your body needs, it maybe time you critically addressed your posture issues.
Using the right practice chair is one of the best ways of correcting bad posture issues for guitar players.
Your choice of chair may not seem as important as that of the guitar itself, but playing through the pain of rigid or tensed muscles is hardly encouraging.
It will certainly not help you make the most of your practice.
There is even the possibility of injury.
Perhaps it is not as bad yet, or you maybe thinking this article is exaggerating a little!
Here is the worst that can happen if the chair or stool you use when you practice is not as comfortable as it should be:
Effects of Bad Posture for Guitar Players
It is possible the average guitar player will not think much about pulling the chair closest to them and sitting down to practise for the next half hour.
What is the worst that could happen? It’s only a chair after all.
But a chair that is too small, too low, or too high will mess up your posture.
Even though playing guitar involves a fair amount of hand movement, the rest of the body remains static for prolonged periods.
The effect of maintaining an awkward body position for so long are muscle contractions that medical experts say limits blood flow. This results in a lack of tissue oxygen, which causes muscle pain.
There may be more serious health problems from bad posture, including;
- Reduced lung function
- Gastrointestinal pains
Now, it is easy to confuse any pain associated with practice for the kind you must endure to be as good a player as you have always dreamed of.
Indeed, very few people expect every practice session to be pleasurable.
But when sufferable is the more accurate word to describe your own practice experience, it may be time you considered upgrading on your quality of seating.
What Makes A Good Practice Chair Or Stool?
You are supposed to tell a good chair when you sit in one, right?
That is correct. Only a guitarist’s chair must have a few more characteristics.
A guitar practice chair must not have any arms. This is important. Arms on your practice chair will, literally, cramp your style.
Because your arms can’t hang as freely, you can’t balance the guitar as comfortably in order to allow prolonged practice.
Your Guitar Practice Chair Must be the Right Height
One of two things happen with a practice chair that isn’t the correct height. Neither is comfortable.
If the chair is too low your knees will point skywards when you sit down. Straight off you can tell this can’t be a good sitting position for playing any musical instrument.
Too high and you literally lose your balance. You can’t play well while at the same time fighting to balance your feet on the ground.
The effect is you will stretch your back out of its natural form, which causes muscle stiffness that will gradually degenerate into actual pain.
With a chair that is the right height, your lap must be perfectly parallel to the seat. Your knees must be able to bend at a 90 degree angle, with both your feet nicely balanced on the ground.
Now, of course, there are now adjustable practice chairs and stools on the market. Still, be sure to adjust the chair’s height correctly so you don’t strain any part of your body when you play.
Choose a Generously Padded Chair
Imagine sitting on a hard seat on a long interstate bus journey.
That the seat isn’t that comfortable won’t be as apparent when you first sit down.
But after a few hundred miles you will start to feel the back side heat up. Soon, standing will seem like the most comfortable position.
And so it is with a practice chair without a good padding. You just can’t practice for long periods on it.
Be prepared to pay a little more for a generously padded chair or stool.
A Sturdy Practice Chair is Better than a Shiny, Fancy Design
We are naturally drawn to the shiny and beautiful.
But for your practice chair to be functional, it first needs to be strong enough to sustain your weight and endure hours of repeated use.
It can be everything else we have discussed here, but if it is going to last you just a couple of weeks before breaking down, that will not be money well spent.
Opt for solid steel, well built chairs. Be particularly careful with chairs that have many adjustments. There is a good chance the adjusting dials maybe made from not so durable materials.
Needless to say, if the adjusting components break, your chair becomes virtually unusable. So take heed and read through reviews by past buyers to be sure your choice of chair can really stand up to heavy use.
Keep shopping until you find a chair that can handle the full weight of an adult.
These features will likely cost you more, but a chair with an adjustable backrest and footrest would be great.
Now that you are sure what to look for as you shop for your practice chair, let’s consider what your best options are:
The Best Guitar Practice Chair and Stool Reviews
A bad chair will not make or break your music career.
But it can give you a bad back, which means you won’t enjoy your instrument that much.
It thus won’t hurt to spend a little more time considering your best options.
Below we pick apart 5 of the best options on the market today. You should be able to find a good practice chair or stool at a price that’s most affordable for you.
Let’s get to it, shall we?
Fender 24-Inch Barstool
As usual, we start at the lower end of the price scale.
The fact this Fender 24-inch Barstool is made by a notable guitar manufacturer should be reassuring.
You would expect the people at Fender to know a thing or two how the perfect guitar practice stool must be designed.
If not for the not-so high grade materials, which is rather consistent with its low price, they pretty much delivered a decent guitar practice chair.
The classically designed stool has a swivel design that allows you to sway at will. This stretches and relaxes your diaphragm and lower back muscles as you play.
Pro and Cons:
- Made from a durable steel tubing
- At just 4.6 pounds, the chair is light and portable
- The cheery red colour on the seat’s sides is a cool touch
- A soft padding for comfort
- Has a footrest, which is helpful for players who prefer to balance the guitar on their thighs
- Not the clearest of assembly directions, and you may need better tools to assemble it than the ones provided
- Not adjustable, though taller people can buy the larger 30 inch model instead
- The rubber foot pads are not the best quality and heavy users may need to replace them sooner
On Stage DT8500
For a good number of guitar players, especially those who have had lower back pain issues, a back rest is an absolute must.
This On Stage DT8500 Guitar/Keyboard Throne has a backrest with good padding.
However, the adjustable backrest claim is somewhat misleading as the backrest itself does not adjust.
The seat is what you can move backwards and forth, which is how the backrest that’s welded to it also ‘adjusts’
But the really cool feature for me is the height adjustment. Not many guitar practice chairs and stools can be adjusted from as low as 21 inches to as high as 31 inches.
In total, there are ten easy-to-line height adjustments.
Pros and Cons:
- At the current price, the chair is quite affordable
- Dual tension knobs for secure backrest adjustment
- With some disassembly, the chair can be folded down for easy transportation
- Is fitted with dual footrests whose height adjusts with the seat height
- Foot and back rests aren’t adjustable
- The seat cover is a cheap-looking, not-so breathable vinyl
- The chair is a little too bulky
This stool is essentially the same design as the Fender we reviewed above.
However, everything else is an upgrade.
The ROC-N-SOC Tower Saddle Seat Stool is wonderfully made, with a solid build quality.
The stool’s weight is considerably heavier at 11.4 pounds. Some people may deem that a tad too heavy.
But then again, lightweight and strong aren’t words that commonly sit well together.
This stool isn’t height adjustable. But it comes in two sizes, this shorter 26-inch one, and another 29-inch size for taller people.
Another welcome feature is a detachable backrest, which you can buy separately. However, when the backrest is fitted the stool will not swivel as freely.
Pros and Cons:
- An ergonomic saddle seat design
- Strong build quality for durability
- Two footrest levels, which is convenient if you like to change leg positioning every now and then
- Comfortable padding, which is welcomed on the longer practice sessions
- Comes fully assembled, which is highly convenient
Quik Lok DX749 Deluxe Seat
It will be nice to get a chair that ticks all the boxes where a guitar practice chair is concerned.
Solid build, strong materials, and adjustable everything - height, footrest, and backrest!
Only the design can be tricky to achieve while still keeping the price fairly affordable.
In the end, the result isn’t usually the most practical of guitar practice chairs. But that didn’t stop these folks from trying.
And, to be fair, the end product isn’t too bad. You will probably find yourself using this Quik Lok DX749 Deluxe Seat chair for other purposes other than guitar practice.
Pros and Cons:
- Almost everything is adjustable, which is a major win
- Easy to assemble for such a complex design
- Quite sturdy and very well made
- Wonderfully padded seat for maximum comfort
- A good price for its range of features
- Even when adjusted to its lowest position, the seat may still be too high for some people
- At 25 pounds, the chair is quite heavy
- Other than the rear leg, the chair does not fold and isn’t easy to move
K&M Performance Stool
It is possible you have tried everything that’s out there and have had a few disappointments.
Though significantly more expensive than the other stools on the market, this K&M Performance Stool will be the best option if you are finally looking to cut your losses.
A professional musician would be advised to choose this stool. It has it all - is adjustable, durable, and portable.
The stool does not come with a backrest, but you can buy a separate attachment for that.
Another good feature is an adjustable dual footrest. And, perhaps to justify that high price, the ergonomically designed seat has a thick padding that’s covered in real leather.
This stool has nice, secure seating for long sessions and will serve you for many years.
Pros and Cons:
- Very well built, from strong materials for both frame and seat
- Has great balance, thanks to wider and adjustable legs
- Easy-to-use, pneumatic spring loaded lever for seat adjustment
- Fully collapsible, which makes for easy transportation
- Maybe too expensive if you are on a tight budget
- The stool is bit on the heavy side
And Our Pick Is…
The K&M Performance Stool.
A good guitar practice chair is one whose seat height, foot and backrests can be adjusted.
The chair must also be built to last, easy to assemble, fold away, and to disassemble. And, the chair must have well padded seat and back rests.
The K&M Performance Stool ticks most of these boxes.
The other chairs and stools we reviewed are all good choices:
The Quik Lok DX749 Deluxe Seat is particularly tempting and a well priced option.
But the K&M Performance Stool is, hands down, a superior option.
The leather covered seat is uber comfortable, the seat and footrest heights are fully adjustable, and the construction is as solid as it gets.
Comfortable Guitar Practice Equals Productive Practice
You can’t do any meaningful practice with an aching body.
Health conscious guitarists appreciate the importance of protecting for their bodies during practice.
They know music success must not come at the cost of their health and well being. And maintaining healthy habits extend beyond avoiding junk foods, regular exercise, and not smoking.
These guitarists know comfortable seating allows them to get more out of their practice sessions.
Steal a trick from their book and get yourself a body-friendly guitar practice chair.
This small investment will ensure you practice your guitar chops for as long as you want, with the least effect on your overall health.